Posted by: Waheeda Harris | November 21, 2012

The BC talisman

I don’t often get homesick – the side effect of constantly being on the move for me is that I’m excited about where I’m going and what I’ll experience.

I’m not sure if that means I’d be a good nomad, since I’ve never continuously travelled for more than six months without coming back to a homebase for an extended period of time.

But I do feel the pull of my home province – British Columbia – to beckon me back.

It usually happens out of the blue – like when I’m walking through a park and spot an old tree – reminding me of the numerous pine trees that surrounded my childhood home.

Or I’ll be at lunch and one of the offerings is salmon, and I’ll wonder is it BC salmon?

Like the tenacity of my American friends to proclaim their college football team loyalty or their patriotism for their country, I’m always quick to point out I grew up in British Columbia.

So when I know I won’t be able to make a trip soon to the west coast, I look for something that reminds me of home – not pictures of family or friends, but my photos of trees.

I’m no expert when it comes to trees – I can’t identify very many – but oh how when I see an big old tree, I automatically think of British Columbia. I think of the numerous times I’ve hiked below the canopy of pine, maple, oak and birch – sheltered from the sun, snow and rain.

I think of the valleys and mountains that were a constant part of my childhood landscape – and the need to see the earth’s unique accents portrayed by rock and plants – not by skyscrapers.

I’m happy to live in the downtown core of the country’s largest city – but its the old growth coniferous forest that is constant companion in my mind’s eye. As my talisman of home, those images travel with me as I continue to explore the planet.


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